What defines OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is the fourth most common mental disorder. OCD often goes undiagnosed for years and or the suffer hides it well and does not reach out in fear of judgement and or others thinking they are mental and or crazy! It is an anxiety disorder, in which an individual has repetitive intrusive compulsive unwanted thoughts such as contamination, harm obsessions, religious scrupulosity, Relationship OCD, Counting... Compulsive/Compulsions is the act that an individual does to relieve the fear and anxiety with the intent of making the intrusive thought subside. For example, an individual who experiences intrusive thought regarding contamination or thoughts of getting aids by touching doorknobs and or other objects will constantly avoid contact at all costs, wash hands excessively.
Seeking reassurance from those they trust most that the obsession won’t happen or did not happen and that they will be ok as well as others. However, the end result in performing a compulsion and or seeking reassurance always ends the same. Relief of anxiety and fear for a very short time sometimes only moments at time as the cycle begins again.
Symptoms of OCD:
- Fear of being contaminated by germs
- Fear of causing harm to yourself or others
- Intrusive sexual thoughts
- Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas Religious Scrupulosity
- Order and symmetry
- Superstitious Thinking
- ROCD – Relationship
- Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks
- Counting, tapping to reduce anxiety
- Excessive washing or cleaning
- Ordering or arranging things
- Asking from loved once if they are safe or checking them to make sure they are safe
- Excessive praying and involve in religious rituals in response to fear of punishment
- Saving unwanted things in their rooms in response to fear that if they throw them, they will be unlucky
Causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
- Genetic – People who have a close relative with obsessive compulsive disorder are at higher risk of developing obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Chemical – It can be caused by the chemical imbalance in the brain. An imbalance in the neurotransmitter serotonin can cause obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Environmental – Environmental stressors can contribute to the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder, i.e., child abuse, excessive focus on cleanliness in the family, etc.
Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
- Exposure and response prevention
- Group Therapy
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has proven to be very effective in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. Cognitive behavior therapy for OCD involves two components:
In exposure and response prevention, an individual is exposed to situations that cause his obsessions, and he is not allowed to act compulsively. For example, an individual has obsessions with restroom doors. He is very afraid that restroom doors are covered with germs (this may be true!) In exposure response prevention, the individual will be asked to touch a restroom door and then he will not be allowed to wash his hands. This individual will continue to have compulsions to wash his hand and will feel anxious when he is not allowed to give in to his compulsion. However, the anxiety will gradually diminish and will eventually go away.
In the second component of cognitive behavior therapy for OCD, an individual with obsessive-compulsive disorder is taught to change his negative and catastrophic thoughts related to his compulsion. A therapist works with the patient on replacing his automatic negative thoughts with positive and helping thoughts. This involves 4 phases.
Encouragement to Press On!
The good news is it does not define you AT ALL! As crazy and real as the intrusive thoughts feel, they are NOT! The intrusive thought is 99.9% opposite of what is truly in your spirit, heart, soul and mind. Being a Christian does not exempt one from this disorder but does equip one with a deeper healing and understanding as you walk out recovery with OCD.
Back to what is “Imperative” The four components, spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. Each area plays a significant part in recovery and healing with OCD. Yes, there can also be an instant healing with your OCD. That would be a miracle on behalf of our Lord. However, many times with OCD you have to walk it out with Jesus by your side as the miracle unfolds!
Either way they are both miracles and you get the same results. Just take a look at the disciples and individuals in the bible and all they endured. Many miracles and blessing came out of their pain and suffering. As it did for me and can for you!